Facebook Thoughts
lawson, alison
I have to admit that I was a little bit late to the Facebook game (and VERY late to the Twitter game)... I kind of like how Facebook lets me get to know people (albeit superficially) that I wouldn't have ever known. It helps me to recognize people at my church that I wouldn't necessarily have known without it. It is however starting to annoy me a bit. It kind of reminds me of why I ended up giving up on MMORPGs. Click below to continue reading this rather longish post (for me, anyway).
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Music Notes
I haven't posted a video of me singing here in quite a while... I pretty much only put them online so that my grandmother can see them, and she's on Facebook now. Anyway, here's my second most recent solo from August 28th. It's the acoustic version of "Hear Our Song" as originally performed by Jadon Lavik. My friend Stephen McNeill (of the band Philadelphia) is playing guitar for me. He took what was originally two guitar parts and put something together that would work with one. I think the end result is much better than using a track.

(no subject)
lawson, alison
Many things have happened since my last LiveJournal post. I post to Facebook regularly (and even read here regularly), but keep forgetting to post things.

After we got back from Massachusetts, Alison decided it was time to potty train Ruth. She was good to go as far as #1 was concerned after 3 days, but getting her to do #2 (hehe) on the little frog potty has taken some work. She just went for the first time this past Saturday, and that's a major milestone. It's especially good since we're all headed to Disney World (with my parents) next Sunday. We'll be in Orlando for three nights and at Daytona Beach for two.

I finished the MS-150 yesterday... I averaged 13.26mph for the whole 150 miles, which was far better than I did last year. I think last year I averaged close to 10mph. I also burned 8400 calories, which is 14.5 foot-long ham subs at Subway.

I'm pretty tired still, and my muscles are all tight. I've got an appointment for an hour-long massage this afternoon, and I can't wait! :-)

Lighter Side
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine (that plays guitar in our church praise band) posted a link to The Rabbit Room to Facebook. He was referencing in particular a blog entry by Andrew Peterson about the Harry Potter books.

For the general concept behind The Rabbit Room, read http://www.rabbitroom.com/about-the-rabbit-room/. It's basically a gathering place for musicians and authors with a like-mind.

In case (like me) you don't know who Andrew Peterson is... he's a contemporary Christian musician that has been around for over 10 years. I hadn't exactly heard of him, but I was very familiar with one of his songs (Dancing in the Mindfields - YouTube) having heard it on K-LOVE.

Anyway, he is also an author of a fantasy series of books. He just released the third, and there is one more currently in the works. Reading his blog entry made me curious about his writing, so I ordered the first book of the trilogy.

It's similar in style to the Harry Potter series, and I really enjoyed it. It too is targeted at a younger age group, but I still enjoy a leisurely read. I liked the book so much that I have ordered the second two books that are out. Hopefully they'll come in before I head to Massachusetts on vacation...

Gym and Ruth
lawson, alison
For those of you that don't know, I've been working at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center for the past couple of years (since the FedEx layoff, right after Ruth was born.) Anyway, we have a gym at work that's free for employees to use, and I've been making an effort to work out more in the mornings before I head into work.

This morning I was using some exercises I learned doing water aerobics at the YMCA back before Ruth was born. An older gentleman swimming in the lane next to me asked me if I was in rehab. :-) I told him that I was just a poor swimmer (I can swim from one end to the other and back, but it's not efficient or even pretty.)

He then said I had the "physique" of a swimmer. No offense, but he must not have seen me before I got into the water. :-P

Anyway, Ruth was sick this weekend. It started with a fever of 104.5 degrees, vomiting, and diarrhea. It was after hours on Friday, so we took her to the urgent care clinic. Fifty dollars and 20 minutes later, they told us that she had a "bug" that was going around. They determined this just by looking at her... they didn't run any tests. They told us to just try and keep her hydrated.

On Saturday morning she appeared to be worse. Luckily, her regular doctor is open from 8am - noon on Saturdays. We took her to the REAL doctor, who ran a test and quickly determined that Ruth had strep throat. She told us that with the antibiotic it should last 72 hours. Had we taken the advice of the urgent care doctor, it likely would have continued for a week and a half.

Things were slow and we had to do some difficult things. Ruth went through 12-14 diapers an hour, and refused to drink any liquids. I actually had to hold her, pinning her arms down and holding her head straight while Alison forced liquids into her with a large eyedropper. It felt like we were torturing her, but the only other alternative was an IV.

Yesterday she was back to feeling really well. Her little voice was hoarse, but she was through with all of the vomiting, etc. Hopefully this morning she'll be back to 100%.

lawson, alison
Have any of you had a chance to check out Google+ yet? It's supposed to be Google's attempt to replace Facebook. Anyway, I got in via a friend, and there's a loophole that can let me add people as long as I know their gmail address... Let me know if you want an invite. This is a special invite that keeps you from having to wait in line like the rest of the people with invite links.

lawson, alison
I'll be riding my first long ride of the season on Saturday. It's in Collierville, TN and will be between 63 and 68 miles. 62 miles is commonly called a "Metric Century" (100K), but I think that's stupid. I joke around with my friends that run that they only measure stuff in kilometers when they want the number to sound bigger. For instance, "I just ran a 5k" sounds way further than "I just ran 3.1 miles". That said, I've never run 3.1 miles at once in my life... :-)

My previous long ride of the year has been around 36 miles, but it was ridden significantly slower with my friend and his wife. When I'm not waiting up, I feel like I'll be able to ride more efficiently. Still, it's going to be a stretch for me to make it the whole 63 miles this early in the season. I rode 20 miles this morning at 15.85mph in preparation. I'll likely average between 12 and 14mph during the 63 mile ride.

Alison, Ruth, and I joined the local YMCA yesterday. Alison and I had been members for nine months or so before Alison got very pregnant and we kind of dropped out. This time, Ruth will be taking a special "swim" class for parents and toddlers that tries to get them used to being in the water.

Misc Rambling
lawson, alison
Sometimes I find it amazing how quickly the days and weeks go by. How is it already nearing the end of April???

I've been fairly busy at work recently. Not stressful busy, but just-the-right-amount-so-I-don't-get-bored busy. I've been busy enough that I haven't written/read all that much on Facebook either (well, not as much as usual anyway.)

I got into the Twitter game pretty late myself, and to some extent it still hasn't really "caught on" for me.

Biking season is upon us again, and I've started doing decent rides on the weekends. It's amazing how much of a difference there is from averaging 12mph over two hours and averaging 14.5mph over two hours. For me, that's the difference between a leisurely ride and really pushing my limit. Well, at least the most recent (14.5mph) ride is making me a better biker.

Ruth's Second Birthday
lawson, alison
Ruth's second birthday was this past Saturday. We had family over (two grandparents, three great grandparents, and a great uncle.) We also got to Skype with my sister and brother-in-law who live in West Virginia. Ruth also had a little friend and her mom stop by. We invited three little girls, but the other two happened to be out of town that weekend (something to do with spring break, I think.)

Anyway, we got Ruth a Little Tykes Sand and Water table that turned out to be really high quality. I ordered some kid-safe playground sand, and Ruth LOVED it. She played with it for a couple of hours on her birthday, and I think Alison has gotten it out once again this week. It's so nice to have the return of warm weather!

Phone Company (and AT&T)
lawson, alison
Our original phone number finished porting over to Ooma last Friday, so we're now totally free and clear of the phone company (CenturyLink.) We also now have unlimited local and long distance when calling from our house. :-)

For the past 2 years, Alison has been using around 125MB of data a month on 3G on her various iPhones. When we went on the cruise in January, she emailed several photos from the road, and actually went over her 200MB maximum by around 6MB. Without telling her, I bumped her plan up to 2GB/month.

After the month cycled, her phone started having random data usage that was quite high. On one day in particular, it said she used 500MB. When asked about it, she didn't remember any usage that was different than what she has been doing the past few years (Facebook, email, web, etc.)

I called AT&T a few times trying to figure out what was going on (and also to try and get the now discontinued unlimited data plan back.) No one really helped me, and a couple of them told me that I just don't understand how data works... and that it was perfectly normal to use 1.6GB in two weeks just reading Facebook.

Long story short, I filed a complaint with the BBB. Even though they wouldn't give Alison unlimited data back, AT&T Corporate responded yesterday by giving us a 2 month credit on our bill (basically a total refund for EVERYTHING for two months.) That ended up being $226.70. Since we had AT&T remove Alison's phone from the system and re-register it, she's using around 7 - 10MB per day (doing the exact same thing.)


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